Police find drugs, gun after pursuit ends with head-on crash  


By Andrew Larson, Republican-American

NAUGATUCK — A man and a woman face a slew of charges after engaging police in a pursuit, driving the wrong way on Route 8 and striking a cruiser, before police say officers found crack cocaine and heroin in the car Friday night.

At about 7:30 p.m., police said an officer was investigating a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of Walmart, 1100 New Haven Road, when the driver fled. Officers found the gray Infiniti on South Main Street and began pursuing it before it entered Route 8 southbound heading the wrong way, police said.

Donta Lamont Crockett

On the highway, the wrong-way car struck a Naugatuck police cruiser, which had entered Route 8 southbound from North Main Street, police said. The head-on crash disabled both vehicles, police said.

The officer involved in the crash suffered minor injuries, and was treated and released from a hospital, police said.

The driver of the Infiniti, Donta Lamont Crockett, 29, of West Haven, and his female passenger, Jeffniqua Tyshon Smith, 28, of New Haven, fled on foot after the crash. Police used the department’s K-9, Tommy, to locate the suspects on Curtis Street near North Main Street. State troopers assisted with the search.

In the vehicle, with the help of another K-9, Judge, police found 39 bags of crack cocaine, 80 bags of heroin, more than $3,500 in cash and a semi-automatic pistol, police said.

Jeffniqua Tyshon Smith

Crockett was charged with first-degree reckless endangerment, illegal possession of a pistol, second-degree breach of peace, assault on an officer, interfering with an officer, possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle, possession of a controlled substance, possession with intent to sell narcotics, engaging police in pursuit, illegal possession of a pistol, and motor vehicle charges.

Smith was charged with reckless endangerment, illegal possession of a pistol, possession with intent to sell narcotics, possession of a controlled substance and possession of a weapon in a motor vehicle.

Both suspects were prohibited from possessing a firearm. Police said they’re investigating how the two obtained the gun.

Crockett has pending charges in other jurisdictions for possession of narcotics with intent to sell, interfering with an officer, conveying an unauthorized item into an institution and carrying a pistol without a permit, along with motor vehicle charges. He was out on bond when Friday’s incident occurred.

Smith also has multiple pending cases, including charges of first-degree burglary, second-degree breach of peace and third-degree assault. She also was out on bond.

Crockett was held on a $500,000 bond after Friday’s arrest. Smith was released on bond and scheduled to appear in Superior Court in Waterbury on Aug. 25.